2019/20 Guest Seminars

2019/20 Guest Seminars:


Wednesday 9th October 2019 - Lizzie Coles-Kemp (Royal Holloway)

Title: Reframing Digital Security Inquiry: Unknotting Some of the Paradoxes of Digital Technology Use

Abstract: The use of digital technology is often described as paradoxical; for example, whilst there might be a desire for privacy, people routinely use digital technology to disclose personal information without privacy protection.  This talk presents a creative security approach that is designed to critically examine lived experiences of digital technology and, in so doing, unknot technology practices that might seem paradoxical. The theoretical framing of this approach, together with their use, is explained through a presentation of a case study that examines the use of smart technology in the home. 

Tuesday 12th November 2019 - Yves Montjoye (Imperial College London)

Title: Anonymisation Debate with Prof. Mark Elliot


Wednesday 19th February 2019 - Wendy Moncur (University of Dundee)

Title: Keeping Secrets Online:

Abstract: What strategies do people deploy in keeping secrets online? And how can these strategies be repurposed to (i) enhance the capacity of UK security agencies to detect & mitigate threats generated via online channels, and (ii) support those who keep secrets as parts of their jobs in countering UK & International security threats.

We reviewed over 7500 research papers, uncovering a range of strategies, barriers and enablers involved in keeping secrets online. Three example contexts were used: supply and purchase of illegal drugs, escaping from intimate partner violence, and infidelity. We then condensed our findings, producing a short graphic novel - the “Illustrated Guide to Keeping secrets Online” – for use with security and law enforcement stakeholders in a series of well-received interactive workshops.

This talk describes the approach taken, key findings, development of the Guide and subsequent impact workshops with stakeholders.

Wednesday 6th May 2020 - Delaram Kahrobaei (University of York)

Title: Interactions between Group Theory, Cyber Security, Artificial Intelligence, and Quantum Computation

Abstract: In this talk, Professor Kahrobaei will explore how group theory is playing a crucial role in cyber security and quantum computation. At the same time, how computer science (for example, machine learning algorithms and computational complexity) could help group theorists so tackle their open problems, as such this could help with cryptanalysis of the proposed primitives.

Symmetry is present in all forms in the natural and biological structures as well as man-made environments. Computational symmetry applies group-theory to create algorithms that model and analyze symmetry in real data set. The use of symmetry groups in optimizing the formulation of signal processing and machine learning algorithms can greatly enhance the impact of these algorithms in many fields of science and engineering where highly complex symmetries exist.

At the same time, Machine Learning techniques could help with solving long standing group theoretic problems. For example, in the paper [J. Gryak, R. Haralick ), D. Kahrobaei, Solving the Conjugacy Decision Problem via Machine Learning, Experimental Mathematics, Taylor & Francis (2019)] the authors use machine learning techniques to solve the conjugacy decision problem in a variety of groups. Beyond their utilitarian worth, the developed methods provide the computational group theorist a new digital “sketchpad” with which one can explore the structure of groups and other algebraic objects, and perhaps yielding heretofore unknown mathematical relationships.


Wednesday 20th May 2020 - Emily Overton (Records Management Girl Consultancy)

Title: Reducing the Attack Surface with Records Management

Abstract: Looking into the depths of how information security incidents can potential be prevented or reduced using records management techniques. Addressing the incidents and considering the privacy, trust and data protection impacts of those incidents and whether or not if good records management was considered to be more than just filing, it would have helped.

Wednesday 3rd June 2020 - Mike Levi (Cardiff University)

Title: Responses to Cyber-Enabled Scams and Fears of Cybercrime: Rethinking the Standard Models

Abstract: Government strategies have involved adapting counter-terrorism models to all serious and organised crime, including cyber-enabled crimes.  Based on research over the last decade, the aim is to re-examine public policing and public-private partnership policing to consider what may be required to ‘satisfice’ victimisation, repeat victimisation, and fear of cyber scams.

Wednesday 14th October 2020 -Professor Philip Howard Director, Oxford Internet Institute

Title: Lie Machines: How to Save Democracy from Social Media

Artificially intelligent fake accounts attack politicians and public figures on social media. Conspiracy theorists publish junk news sites to promote their outlandish beliefs. Campaigners create fake dating profiles to attract young voters. We live in a world of technologies that misdirect our attention, poison our political conversations, and jeopardize our democracies. Big data from the social media firms, combined with interviews with internet trolls, bot writers and political operatives, demonstrates how misinformation gets produced, distributed and marketed. Ultimately, understanding how all the components work together is vital to dismantling such “lie machines” and strengthening democracy.

Wednesday 18th November 2020 - Dr Anita Lavorgna, Associate Professor in Criminology, The University of Southampton

Title: Alternative truths? A criminological approach to investigate polluted and misleading online medical information during the pandemic

Abstract: With cyberspace being increasingly used to support health-related decision making and to market health products, the social implications of online information pollution and medical misinformation are extremely relevant, as they may cause financial, physical and psychological/emotional harm to the primary victims, as well as public health problems, and loss of confidence in the professional scientific and medical norm.

In the reality of the 2020 pandemic, for instance, we have recently witnessed how polluted health-related information has increased confusion and anxiety, and led to polarized views on preventive measures such as the use of face masks and physical distancing. This presentation will introduce some recent research on online medical misinformation and germane practices, conceptualizing them through criminological lenses in the broader context of technology-facilitated deviancy and victimization, with a specific focus on the narratives and conversations taking place in self-identifying alternative lifestyle and counterinformation online communities.